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Mike Williams on the crux of Sensible Shoes (5.10c...
This is the second bolt line from the right, on the less than vertical slab before the overhanging wall. Troy Mayr's "Southern California Sport Climbing" guide gives this climb no stars, and it doesn't deserve any, if you're looking for the 5.8 face climb it's supposed to be. Everyone I've talked with assures me that this climb follows the bolt line and not the crack system five or so feet to the right (which feels maybe 5.8) but everyone agrees it's "pretty hard" for a 5.8. I'll say. The move off the ground is harder than 5.8 and the crux, passing just left of the first bolt, is a balancy move on tiny crimps with little for the feet. Move left to the arete to pass the second bolt and conquer the secondary crux: another dicey move on dime edges. From there, pump through the fractured patina, passing one more bolt, to the ledge below the anchor. A great climb if you look at it as a 5.10 crimp fest.
Kudos to the FA team; they must be real stout climbers, that this lead was so easy for them they rated it 5.8! And this isn't another Pinched Rib, where the breaking of one bomber hold could dramatically increase the difficulty level. I felt Sensible Shoes was as hard as any .10c in the area; not a lead for the 5.8 climber. Rappel to descend.
3 bolts, chain anchor
Near the top of Sensible Shoes, Technical for sure
|Comments on Sensible Shoes
|By Chris Asencio|
From: Hesperia, CA
Mar 28, 2012
I followed to the left of the bolt line till top out and it definately seemed harder than the 5.8, a good 5.9 face. If you use the features far right it seems more 5.8, but bolts are a little far... Worth doin once.
Mar 17, 2013
Yeah, just went back there after years away. 10+ for sure if you go direct. The only 5.8-ish way would be to follow the bottoming crack to the right. By working it from the left and stepping over right once past the second bolt, I'd rate it in the 5.9-ish range, and not easy at that. We did two other 10 a/b's that day and found them QUITE reasonable. Complete and total sandbag at 5.8. Kind of like that route on the Old Woman in Josh that was rated 5.8 BITD. It's rated 10a now. Don't feel bad if this 8 kicks yer ass. It's NOT you.